Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sun and Snow

A week ago we had a snowstorm that left behind nearly a foot of soft powder. I spent the first day of the storm in front of a warm fire, reading and writing and watching the cats play. The next morning I walked the loop under lingering clouds, coming down from the falls to see only one other set of prints in the soft snow—those of T.J., the big red dog who is my neighbor. By the time I reached the cabin, it had begun to snow again, small flakes drifting down outside the window as I brewed a cup of tea. But by then I had used up the last of my firewood, so while the day was cold (30 degrees), and the snow continued, we had only the wall furnace to keep us warm. The cats and I huddled near it, happy for an abundance of spare blankets. I checked the weather report and reassured them: “Don’t worry, ladies. We’ll be warm by Wednesday.” Sure enough, the sun came out on Sunday, then gradually, with each passing day, the temperatures warmed.
Now it is Sunday again. Yesterday, wearing a short sleeved t-shirt and flip-flops, I cleaned up the detritus left behind by the storm. Afterward, I sat on the back deck reading a book, little Sugar Plum nearby basking in a warm sun spot. Today I opened half of the many windows in the cabin, knocked down cobwebs and turned on the ceiling fan to air out the dust. Now the cabin smells like the mountain, that fresh mix of pine and oak and spring wildflowers. With the windows open, I can hear the stream gushing along in the canyon just below us. Again this afternoon I sat outside and indulged in the luxury of reading for pleasure, the melody of a grosbeak’s mating song echoing from the canyon walls, Sugie wandering about the deck sniffing everything she hadn’t smelled since October. We are heady with the joy of it.

Oh, I know that our cold days are not yet behind us. Rain is predicted for Wednesday night and Thursday. But just this brief respite from the cold days, a hint and promise of the long delicious days of summer on the mountain, is enough to remind me of how quickly the circumstances of life can turn around.

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